The grapevine is abuzz with news of Flipkart’s plans to enter the ticketing sector. According to this ET report, Flipkart is in discussion with MakeMyTrip to launch a ticketing platform. The unconfirmed report quotes a Flipkart employee, who says, “We are planning to integrate ticketing powered by MakeMyTrip on the Flipkart marketplace, which means that a customer will be able to book air and rail tickets from the Flipkart platform.”
The travel sector has the lion’s share of the online commerce sector. According to a study conducted by The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IMRB International (a research company), online travel comprised a majority 61% of the whole Digital Commerce pie. According to the report, the digital commerce market was valued at INR 81,525 crores by the end of December 2014, and registered a growth of 53% over 2013.
Having realised the scope of the travel and ticketing segment, ecommerce companies are keen to join the bandwagon.
It appears as though etailers are taking serious measures to build on their profits. One way to do this is to expand their area of operation. Most ecommerce companies are now training their guns on other services. The recent spate of mergers and purchases is proof of this theory. Over the years, Snapdeal has bought RupeePower (financial services), FreeCharge (mobile recharge), MartMobi (mobile sites and apps creator), and Letsgomo Labs (mobility solutions).
Snapdeal’s foresightedness in keeping up with the online service industry is clear in its recent moves. IOS had reported how the company is picking up more and more online service firms in the (correct) observation that there is more user dependency on online services. Top ecommerce players are slowly shifting their deep discounts model to a slightly more workable model, with an eye of profits. IOS wrote about ecommerce companies’ intentions to reduce their discounts scheme.
Most online marketplaces are widening their reach, and including varied products and services to their portfolio. As of now, most ecommerce sites have placed customer on a pedestal at the cost of sellers. Will the prospect of better sales displace the customer from this position? Hopefully the position of the seller might improve over time.